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101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glick: American Greatness and the PLO on: May 16, 2017, 09:38:15 AM
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Our-World-American-greatness-and-the-PLO-490819

102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: President Trump on: May 16, 2017, 09:29:37 AM
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/333529-frustration-abounds-in-trump-white-house
103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: May 16, 2017, 09:18:16 AM
In case there is any additional info in this article:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/murdered-dnc-staffer-seth-rich-had-sent-44000-internal-emails-to-wikileaks-report/article/2623186
104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jordanian Jihadi knife attack on: May 16, 2017, 09:16:49 AM
a)   http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/jordanian-stabs-israeli-policeman-in-old-city-of-jerusalem/?omhide=true

Is there more complete footage of this anywhere?


b)  The second clip on this page shows terrible perimeter control e.g. that woman at 01:20 should not be where she is.


====================================
Not one of Jordan's better moments
http://www.timesofisrael.com/jordan-calls-killing-of-jerusalem-attacker-a-heinous-crime/
105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jordanian Jihadi knife attack on: May 16, 2017, 09:15:43 AM
a)   http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/jordanian-stabs-israeli-policeman-in-old-city-of-jerusalem/?omhide=true

Is there more complete footage of this anywhere?


b)  The second clip on this page shows terrible perimeter control e.g. that woman at 01:20 should not be where she is.


====================================

http://www.timesofisrael.com/jordan-calls-killing-of-jerusalem-attacker-a-heinous-crime/

106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Brooks: Trump, infantalist on: May 16, 2017, 09:07:02 AM

At certain times Donald Trump has seemed like a budding authoritarian, a corrupt Nixon, a rabble-rousing populist or a big business corporatist.

But as Trump has settled into his White House role, he has given a series of long interviews, and when you study the transcripts it becomes clear that fundamentally he is none of these things.

At base, Trump is an infantalist. There are three tasks that most mature adults have sort of figured out by the time they hit 25. Trump has mastered none of them. Immaturity is becoming the dominant note of his presidency, lack of self-control his leitmotif.

First, most adults have learned to sit still. But mentally, Trump is still a 7-year-old boy who is bouncing around the classroom. Trump’s answers in these interviews are not very long — 200 words at the high end — but he will typically flit through four or five topics before ending up with how unfair the press is to him.

His inability to focus his attention makes it hard for him to learn and master facts. He is ill informed about his own policies and tramples his own talking points. It makes it hard to control his mouth. On an impulse, he will promise a tax reform when his staff has done little of the actual work.

Second, most people of drinking age have achieved some accurate sense of themselves, some internal criteria to measure their own merits and demerits. But Trump seems to need perpetual outside approval to stabilize his sense of self, so he is perpetually desperate for approval, telling heroic fabulist tales about himself.

“In a short period of time I understood everything there was to know about health care,” he told Time. “A lot of the people have said that, some people said it was the single best speech ever made in that chamber,” he told The Associated Press, referring to his joint session speech.

By Trump’s own account, he knows more about aircraft carrier technology than the Navy. According to his interview with The Economist, he invented the phrase “priming the pump” (even though it was famous by 1933). Trump is not only trying to deceive others. His falsehoods are attempts to build a world in which he can feel good for an instant and comfortably deceive himself.


He is thus the all-time record-holder of the Dunning-Kruger effect, the phenomenon in which the incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence. Trump thought he’d be celebrated for firing James Comey. He thought his press coverage would grow wildly positive once he won the nomination. He is perpetually surprised because reality does not comport with his fantasies.

Third, by adulthood most people can perceive how others are thinking. For example, they learn subtle arts such as false modesty so they won’t be perceived as obnoxious.

But Trump seems to have not yet developed a theory of mind. Other people are black boxes that supply either affirmation or disapproval. As a result, he is weirdly transparent. He wants people to love him, so he is constantly telling interviewers that he is widely loved. In Trump’s telling, every meeting was scheduled for 15 minutes but his guests stayed two hours because they liked him so much.

Which brings us to the reports that Trump betrayed an intelligence source and leaked secrets to his Russian visitors. From all we know so far, Trump didn’t do it because he is a Russian agent, or for any malevolent intent. He did it because he is sloppy, because he lacks all impulse control, and above all because he is a 7-year-old boy desperate for the approval of those he admires.

The Russian leak story reveals one other thing, the dangerousness of a hollow man.

Our institutions depend on people who have enough engraved character traits to fulfill their assigned duties. But there is perpetually less to Trump than it appears. When we analyze a president’s utterances we tend to assume that there is some substantive process behind the words, that it’s part of some strategic intent.

But Trump’s statements don’t necessarily come from anywhere, lead anywhere or have a permanent reality beyond his wish to be liked at any given instant.

We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.

“We badly want to understand Trump, to grasp him,” David Roberts writes in Vox. “It might give us some sense of control, or at least an ability to predict what he will do next. But what if there’s nothing to understand? What if there is no there there?”

And out of that void comes a carelessness that quite possibly betrayed an intelligence source, and endangered a country.
107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Loose lips have consequences on: May 16, 2017, 08:32:49 AM
Here is my take at this moment on fast moving story:

In his meeting with the Russians, who lost an airplane full of their people over Sinai, it is quite logical and natural that they would be curious about why on flights from that region (and now expanding to flights from Europe?) we have begun requiring lap tops  be checked.

It appears that our gregarious and loquacious President (whose low awareness of security protocols we have noted previously) as part of his ongoing efforts to establish productive interactions with the Russians (whom he is trying to bring on board against the Norks btw) may have flapped his gums a bit and inadvertently given away something really important.

To the detriment of friendly intel services, America has a long history of being really bad at keeping secrets; it appears that President Trump has just added to it.
108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / UN Agency helps Norks with Chem War Patent on: May 15, 2017, 09:42:27 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/05/15/un-agency-helps-north-korea-with-patent-application-for-banned-nerve-gas-chemical.html

 cry cry cry angry angry angry angry angry angry
109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I can picture him being this kind of stupid on: May 15, 2017, 04:27:32 PM
Dubious sources, but I can picture him being this kind of stupid:

 By Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe May 15 at 5:01 PM

President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said that Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.

The information Trump relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.

The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said that Trump’s decision to do so risks cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and National Security Agency.
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“This is code-word information,” said a U.S. official familiar with the matter, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”

The revelation comes as Trump faces rising legal and political pressure on multiple Russia-related fronts. Last week, he fired FBI Director James B. Comey in the midst of a bureau investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Trump’s subsequent admission that his decision was driven by “this Russia thing” was seen by critics as attempted obstruction of justice.
Team Trump’s ties to Russian interests View Graphic

[Political chaos in Washington is a return on investment in Moscow]

One day after dismissing Comey, Trump welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — a key figure in earlier Russia controversies — into the Oval Office. It was during that meeting, officials said, that Trump went off script and began describing details about an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.

For most anyone in government discussing such matters with an adversary would be illegal. As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law.

“The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who participated in the meeting. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”

The CIA declined to comment and the National Security Agency did not respond to requests for comment.

But officials expressed concern with Trump’s handling of sensitive information as well as his grasp of the potential consequences. Exposure of an intelligence stream that has provided critical insight into the Islamic State, they said, could hinder the United States’ and its allies’ ability to detect future threats.

“It is all kind of shocking,” said a former senior U.S. official close to current administration officials. “Trump seems to be very reckless, and doesn’t grasp the gravity of the things he’s dealing with, especially when it comes to intelligence and national security. And it’s all clouded because of this problem he has with Russia.”
Here’s what happened after Trump fired Comey
Play Video3:53
Democrats expressed outrage, Trump issued defiant tweets. (Video: Bastien Inzaurralde, Jayne Orenstein, Alice Li, Libby Casey, Priya Mathew/Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

In his meeting with Lavrov, Trump seemed to be boasting about his inside knowledge of the looming threat. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” Trump said, according to an official with knowledge of the exchange.

Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States only learned through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence gathering method, but described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat.

The Washington Post is withholding most plot details, including the name of the city, at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities.

“Everyone knows this stream is very sensitive and the idea of sharing it at this level of granularity with the Russians is troubling,” said a former senior U.S. counterterrorism official who also worked closely with members of the Trump national security team. He and others spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the subject.

The identification of the location was seen as particularly problematic, officials said, because Russia could use that detail to help identify the U.S. ally or intelligence capability involved. Officials said that the capability could be useful for other purposes, possibly providing intelligence on Russia’s presence in Syria. Moscow and would be keenly interested in identifying that source and possibly disrupting it.

Russia and the United States both regard the Islamic State as an enemy and share limited information about terrorist threats. But the two nations have competing agendas in Syria, where Moscow has deployed military assets and personnel to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“Russia could identify our sources or techniques,” the senior U.S. official said. A former intelligence official who handled high-level intelligence on Russia said that given the clues Trump provided, “I don’t think that it would be that hard [for Russian spy services] to figure this out.”

At a more fundamental level, the information wasn’t the United States’ to provide to others. Under the rules of espionage, governments — and even individual agencies — are given significant control over whether and how the information they gather is disseminated even after it has been shared. Violating that practice undercuts trust considered essential to sharing secrets.

The officials declined to identify the ally, but said it is one that has previously voiced frustration with Washington’s inability to safeguard sensitive information related to Iraq and Syria.

“If that partner learned we’d given this to Russia without their knowledge or asking first that is a blow to that relationship,” the U.S. official said.

Trump also described measures that the United States has taken or is contemplating to counter the threat, including military operations in Iraq and Syria as well as other steps to tighten security, officials said.

The officials would not discuss details of those measures, but the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed that it is considering banning laptops and other large electronic devices from carry-on bags on flights between Europe and the United States. The United States and Britain imposed a similar ban in March affecting travelers passing through airports in 10 Muslim-majority countries.

Trump cast the countermeasures in wistful terms. “Can you believe the world we live in today?” he said, according to one official. “Isn’t it crazy.”

Lavrov and Kislyak were also accompanied by aides.

A Russian photographer took photos of part of the session that were released by the Russian state-owned Tass news agency. No U.S. news organization was allowed to attend any part of the meeting.

Senior White House officials appeared to recognize quickly that Trump had overstepped and moved to contain the potential fallout.

Thomas P. Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, placed calls to the directors of the CIA and the NSA, services most directly involved in the intelligence-sharing arrangement with the partner.

One of Bossert’s subordinates also called for the problematic portion of Trump’s discussion to be stricken from internal memos and for the full transcript to be limited to a small circle of recipients, efforts to prevent sensitive details from being disseminated further or leaked.

Trump has repeatedly gone off-script in his dealings with high-ranking foreign officials, most notably in his contentious introductory conversation with the Australian Prime Minister earlier this year. He has also faced criticism for lax attention to security at his Florida retreat Mar-a-Lago, where he appeared to field preliminary reports of a North Korea missile launch in full view of casual diners.

U.S. officials said that the National Security Council continues to prepare multi-page briefings for Trump to guide him through conversations with foreign leaders but that he has insisted that the guidance be distilled to a single page of bullet points, and often ignores those.

“He seems to get in the room or on the phone and just goes with it — and that has big downsides,” the second former official said. “Does he understand what’s classified and what’s not? That’s what worries me.”

Lavrov’s reaction to the Trump disclosures was muted, officials said, calling for the United States to work more closely with Moscow on fighting terrorism.

Kislyak has figured prominently in damaging stories about the Trump administration’s ties to Russia. Trump’s initial national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was forced to resign just 24 days into the job over his contacts with Kislyak and misleading statements about them. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced to recuse himself from matters related to the FBI’s Russia investigation after it was revealed that he had met and spoke with Kislyak despite denying any contact with Russian officials during his confirmation hearing.

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Military, defense and security at home and abroad.

“I’m sure Kislyak was able to fire off a good cable back to the Kremlin with all the details” he gleaned from Trump, said the former U.S. official who handled intelligence on Russia.

The White House readout of the meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak made no mention of the discussion of a terrorist threat.

“Trump emphasized the need to work together to end the conflict in Syria,” the summary said. Trump also “raised Ukraine” and “emphasized his desire to build a better relationship between the United States and Russia.”

Julie Tate and Ellen Nakashima contributed to this report.
110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Kenneth Starr opines! on: May 15, 2017, 04:01:16 PM

By Kenneth W. Starr
May 14, 2017 2:08 p.m. ET
502 COMMENTS

The long knives are out. The ultimate doomsday scenario for a constitutional republic in peacetime—calls for impeachment of the president—has now been augmented by a growing chorus of voices demanding a far less dramatic but nonetheless profoundly serious step: appointment of a special prosecutor. Even for this less drastic move, the calls are way off base. At a minimum, the suggestion is premature.

The developing narrative, trumpeted on the weekend talk shows, is that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein must appoint a special prosecutor to restore his long-established reputation for integrity and professionalism. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the entire matter.

The basic complaint is that the newly appointed second-in-command at the Justice Department lost public confidence by crafting a three-page memorandum to the attorney general that severely criticized then-FBI Director James Comey, whom President Trump quickly fired. At least one senator has already mocked Mr. Rosenstein’s May 9 memorandum as “laughable.” They are wrong.

Let’s see what the Rosenstein memorandum actually says. It is titled “Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI.” Mr. Rosenstein rightly praises the bureau as “our nation’s premier investigative agency.” Mr. Rosenstein singles out Mr. Comey for high praise as “an articulate and persuasive speaker about leadership and the immutable principles of the Department of Justice.” The memorandum goes on to praise the FBI chief for his long and distinguished public service.

Mr. Rosenstein then turns to the director’s profound failures during his stewardship of the FBI. Above all, the new deputy attorney general states: “I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary [Hillary] Clinton’s emails.” In this Mr. Rosenstein echoes the vehement complaints by Democrats during the 2016 campaign, and indeed comments only last week by Mrs. Clinton herself. Even Republicans had raised an arched eyebrow at what the director did and when he chose to do it. The deputy attorney general goes on to express befuddlement that Mr. Comey still refuses “to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken.”

The memorandum then identifies the fatal offense of any FBI leader—the usurpation of the authority of the Justice Department itself. In a power grab, Mr. Comey had announced the ultimate prosecutorial decision, namely that Mrs. Clinton would not be prosecuted. The FBI director had no authority to do that. That was not all. Mr. Comey, the memo went on, “compounded the error” by holding a press conference releasing “derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation.” This was all way outside the foul lines of Justice Department professionalism.

Succinctly, but with devastating effectiveness, the Rosenstein memorandum demonstrates Mr. Comey’s egregious violations of long-settled Justice Department practice and policy. Mr. Rosenstein draws from the director’s testimony before Congress and his unprecedented letter to Congress days before the election. He addresses Mr. Comey’s argument that had he failed to insert himself once again into the presidential campaign—as voting was already under way in many states—it would have constituted “concealment.”

Balderdash, the deputy attorney general concludes, albeit in more polite language. Prosecutors, to say nothing of FBI directors, are not to set out a confidence-shattering bill of particulars with respect to any potential defendant’s conduct, and certainly not a presidential candidate in the heat of a national campaign.

Finally, the Rosenstein memorandum sets forth paragraph after paragraph recounting the scathing criticism of the director’s woefully timed election interference. The deputy attorney general demonstrates that his own conclusions are shared by a wide range of respected former officials of the Justice Department in both Democratic and Republican administrations. One example: President Clinton’s deputy attorney general, Jamie Gorelick, is quoted as condemning Mr. Comey for having “chosen personally to restrike the balance between transparency and fairness, departing from the department’s traditions.”

There’s nothing “laughable” about what the Rosenstein memorandum says. In setting forth undisputed and fireable offenses, the memorandum bespeaks professionalism, integrity and fidelity to Justice Department policy and practice, as befits the Harvard-trained lawyer and career prosecutor who was overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate only weeks ago.

Rod Rosenstein is universally respected, a broad-based admiration founded on his long service and distinguished record in the Justice Department. Unless stepping aside represents the deputy attorney general’s considered judgment as the right thing to do, calling in a special prosecutor now would simply cause further delay, add greater cost, and disrupt the continuing work of the FBI.

The bureau’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election is continuing, under the leadership of Acting Director Andrew McCabe. In addition, the work of the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee is well under way. Regardless of the unhappy fate of one public servant, the guardrails of constitutional republic are in place. And with its 10,000-plus special agents, the world’s most respected law-enforcement agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, should be encouraged to get on with the job, and a respected deputy attorney general permitted—with accountability to Congress—to come to his considered judgment. That’s precisely the kind of structural protection that the Founders had in mind over two centuries ago.

Mr. Starr served as a federal judge, solicitor general and Whitewater independent counsel.
111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Trump's poll numbers inaccurate on: May 15, 2017, 03:59:35 PM


http://www.dickmorris.com/polls-showing-trump-inaccurate-lunch-alert/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=dmreports&utm_campaign=dmreports
112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / This makes sense to me on: May 15, 2017, 03:54:44 PM
The Shapiro Report for 5/11/2017

While the Democrats and media suggest that President Trump fired FBI director James Comey in order to somehow stymie an investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump team in the 2016 campaign, the more plausible theory was far less damning to Trump. I theorized on Wednesday that this was all an elaborate set-up for a bank heist. But that’s not the theory to which I’m referring. Here’s the actual
theory:

Trump fired Comey because he was angry Comey was allowing the Russia investigation to drag along, and used Comey’s ridiculous Congressional testimony as a pretext for firing him. Under this theory, Trump isn’t necessarily guilty of collusion with Russia — at least not knowingly — and he’s merely ticked off that Comey appeared to be dragging his feet while refusing to state openly that he had no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.

Essentially, Trump believes that he had nothing to do with Russia; even if his former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and former campaign manager Paul Manafort had corrupt ties with the Kremlin, Trump doesn’t understand why that would implicate him personally, since he has never linked his fate with that of his subordinates. Trump was shocked and appalled that Comey wouldn’t simply come out and exonerate him, when he knew that Comey had no evidence of Trump’s direct involvement in anything; he was even more angry that Comey appeared to be fanning the conspiracy theory flames, even though Comey wouldn’t help him out with a bit of doubletalk on Obama administration wiretapping and leaks. So he fired him.
Unfortunately, when you
fire someone because they’re failing to clear you in a timely manner, it looks as though you’re firing them because they refuse to clear you at all. Thus the scandal.

All of which could have been avoided through some professional discretion.
Trump
could have dumped Comey ceremoniously, coordinated with his team, and ensured a suitable replacement was at hand. Instead, he decided he wanted Comey gone, told the deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein to write up a memo saying why Comey had to go — a hook upon which to hang Trump’s hat — and then wrote his own letter basically admitting that he was firing Comey because Comey wouldn’t publicly exonerate him.

Here’s The Washington Post reporting:

Trump had long questioned Comey’s loyalty and judgment, and was infuriated by what he viewed as the director’s lack of action in recent weeks on leaks from within the federal government. By last weekend, he had made up his mind: Comey had to go… The president already had decided to fire Comey, according to this person. But in the meeting, several White House officials said Trump gave Sessions and Rosenstein a
directive: to explain in writing the case against Comey… The president already had decided to fire Comey, according to this person. But in the meeting, several White House officials said Trump gave Sessions and Rosenstein a directive: to explain in writing the case against Comey.

Trump is used to running a business. In business, the CEO is the dictator.
He can
fire people without blowback. If employees — people who serve at the pleasure of the president — cross him, the CEO can simply drop Trump’s signature line:
“You’re
fired.” But as president, the job is a bit different. You can fire James Comey, but you’re likely to hear some outcry if the firing is perceived to be politically-motivated.

That’s what likely happened here.

Democrats have no evidence to suggest that Trump is shutting down the Russia investigation, although Trump would obviously like to do so — and he’d certainly like to expedite the process by which he can be cleared, so that the cloud hanging over his administration can dissipate. Unfortunately, with his rash and incompetent action here, he’s damned himself to months more of speculation at the very least… and if Flynn and Manafort end up in the dock, he may have done himself far more damage than that. This is just one problem with a knee-jerk reactionary with volatile emotional issues at the head of the executive branch — even if he isn’t in thrall to the Russians, his inability to see any perspective outside his own leads him to jump on a landmine he planted himself.
113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Who are Comey and Rowenstein? on: May 15, 2017, 02:14:31 PM
Well, well, looky here , , ,

Who is James Comey?
http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/07/politics/who-is-james-comey-fbi-director-things-to-know/

Who is Rod Rowenstein?
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article149815754.html

What implications?
114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 15, 2017, 02:11:29 PM
I'm thinking this needs its own thread:


30 minute video

http://dailycaller.com/2017/05/13/scholar-unravels-the-big-lie-surrounding-the-tump-campaign-and-russian-collusion-video/

Scholar Victor Davis Hanson says there’s a “big lie” surrounding the “boogeyman of Russian collusion” that Democrats and the media rally around, according to an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Hanson’s analysis begins by reminding us of the recent massive Democratic losses, which he places at the feet of President Barack Obama’s policies and identity politics gone awry. “The blue wall crumbled,” he says, turning working people against the Democrats in droves. The party then scrambled for any alternative to explain the electoral defeats.

He mentions the financial entanglements with President Vladimir Putin’s Russia by Former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton that betray the sudden growing Russiaphobia of most Democrats.
 

When “the big lie” of Russian collusion is repeated by influential Democrats, doubt is cast and suspicions are raised against President Donald Trump, even without actual evidence. Then, Trump’s approval ratings are expected to fall, ensuring greater erosion of Republican support for the president’s agenda — an agenda that threatens the progressive project that was designed to ensure continued Democratic dominance.

Hanson predicts there will be new surprising evidence of Obama malfeasance against Trump over the next six months.

The scholar then discusses the causes and ramifications of the “Trump Derangement Syndrome” unfolding politically and culturally. He gives Trump high marks for using his unpredictability to restore vital deterrence on the world stage.

Yet, for many Republican elites, he says, they focus on Trump’s appearance — his Queen’s accent, and his gaudiness. A class-driven hostility to this president is revealed, Hanson says, when he hears such charges as, “he hangs out with wrestling people; he likes Mike Tyson; he’s just uncouth.”

In a “weird way” the polarization Obama’s identity politics brought to America will largely evaporate if Trump is able to bring about economic growth, which will unify us again, Hanson says.

As for Democratic leaders, he calls them simply “geriatric.”  He sees the younger ones as “unhinged and in search of an identity.” Rather than find policies to bring working class voters back to the Democratic Party, Hanson predicts they will rally around race, class, and gender, as well as climate change and other fads thought up by Hollywood and radical elites.

This compelling video features Hanson discussing the intolerance and infantilization on display on American campuses, as well as tips for ordinary Americans living with growing intolerance and incivility.
115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Trump-Ross's trade deal with China on: May 15, 2017, 01:26:55 PM

May 14, 2017 5:11 p.m. ET
26 COMMENTS

Wilbur Ross made some startling claims after Thursday’s announcement of a 10-point agreement with China on trade. The U.S. Commerce Secretary boasted that the “herculean accomplishment” was “more than has been done in the whole history of U.S.-China relations on trade,” putting the relationship on “a new high.”

The hyperbole may be due to the Trump Presidency’s bumpy ride and the need for a policy victory. But overstatements tend to backfire, as this one did once trade experts examined the details. That’s unfortunate because the Administration deserves credit for setting aside its protectionist threats for the hard work of negotiating a trade-expansion agreement.

The deal is modest but potentially significant. Beijing’s two most important pledges are an end to the ban on U.S. beef and to the barriers against payment giants Visa and Mastercard entering the Chinese market. We’ve heard those promises before. Premier Li Keqiang said in September that beef imports would resume “soon,” and China was supposed to end the monopoly of its Unionpay payments network under its 2001 accession to the World Trade Organization. Nevertheless, the July time frame is new and encouragingly close.

In return, the U.S. will allow imports of Chinese cooked chicken and sell natural gas to China. The latter is largely meant as political reassurance to investors in U.S. LNG export terminals. The U.S. also gave reassurance that investment by Chinese entrepreneurs is welcome and recognized the importance of President Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road” initiative to improve trade infrastructure in Asia.

The deal is positive for both sides and should dial back tension over trade in the short term. But Mr. Ross may have planted a land mine by claiming that China’s market opening will reduce the bilateral trade deficit this year. That seems unlikely. Beef exports are expected to reach a few billion U.S. dollars a year, a modest sum in the overall relationship. Building facilities to export natural gas will take years, and Mastercard and Visa will need about 18 months at least to expand in China.

The trade deal comes at a moment when consistency in U.S. relations with China is imperative. On Sunday North Korea launched what appears to be a new type of ballistic missile, which some experts said could have flown 2,800 miles on a normal trajectory.

No doubt the urgency of dealing with this threat is one reason Mr. Trump in an interview with the Economist magazine last week praised Mr. Xi as “a great guy.” But his seeming willingness last month in Mar-a-Lago to accept the Chinese President’s excuses for failing to rein in North Korea no doubt discomfited allies and friends in Asia, already anxious about Beijing’s maritime aggression. The U.S. is now asking these nations to unite as it works to shape a policy to deal with Pyongyang.

While it’s good that Mr. Trump has pulled back from protectionism, dampening the swings in the way his Administration portrays China relations would bring better results. Mr. Ross’s accomplishment would have found a more appreciative reception if he had simply said that hard negotiating gets results from Beijing but much work remains to be done.
116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Nietzche embraced by Left and Right on: May 15, 2017, 01:20:00 PM
second post:

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/228455/nietzsche-left-right?utm_source=tabletmagazinelist&utm_campaign=b85dc7768e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_08&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c308bf8edb-b85dc7768e-207194629
117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Russia recognizes Jerusalem. Why can't the US? on: May 15, 2017, 01:04:58 PM
Russia Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital. Why Can’t the U.S.?
Trump must soon decide whether to move the embassy. Doing so would help promote peace.
Photo: Getty Images
By Eugene Kontorovich
May 14, 2017 5:01 p.m. ET
96 COMMENTS

President Trump’s visit to Israel next week is expected to lead to some announcement about his Jerusalem policy. The trip will coincide with celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the city’s reunification after the Six Day War. Only days after the visit, the president will have to decide between waiving an act of Congress or letting it take effect and moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv—as he promised last year to do if elected.

Jerusalem is the only world capital whose status is denied by the international community. To change that, in 1995 Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which mandates moving the U.S. Embassy to a “unified” Jerusalem. The law has been held in abeyance due to semiannual presidential waivers for “national security” reasons. President Obama’s final waiver will expire June 1.

There’s no good reason to maintain the charade that Jerusalem is not Israeli, and every reason for Mr. Trump to honor his campaign promise. The main arguments against moving the embassy—embraced by the foreign-policy establishment—is that it would lead to terrorism against American targets and undermine U.S. diplomacy. But the basis of those warnings has been undermined by the massive changes in the region since 1995.

While the Palestinian issue was once at the forefront of Arab politics, today Israel’s neighbors are preoccupied with a nuclear Iran and radical Islamic groups. For the Sunni Arab states, the Trump administration’s harder line against Iran is far more important than Jerusalem. To be sure, a decision to move the embassy could serve as a pretext for attacks by groups like al Qaeda. But they are already fully motivated against the U.S.

Another oft-heard admonition is that America would be going out on a limb if it “unilaterally” recognized Jerusalem when no other country did. An extraordinary recent development has rendered that warning moot. Last month Russia suddenly announced that it recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Note what happened next: No explosions of anger at the Arab world. No end to Russia’s diplomatic role in the Middle East. No terror attacks against Russian targets. Moscow’s dramatic Jerusalem reversal has largely been ignored by the foreign-policy establishment because it disproves their predictions of mayhem.

To be sure, Russia limited its recognition to “western Jerusalem.” Even so, it shifted the parameters of the discussion. Recognizing west Jerusalem as Israeli is now the position of a staunchly pro-Palestinian power. To maintain the distinctive U.S. role in Middle East diplomacy—and to do something historic—Mr. Trump must go further. Does the U.S. want to wind up with a less pro-Israel position than Vladimir Putin’s ?

The American response to real attacks against U.S. embassies has always been to send a clear message of strength. After the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Washington did not shut down those missions. Instead it invested in heavily fortified new facilities—and in hunting down the perpetrators.

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem would also improve the prospect of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It would end the perverse dynamic that has prevented such negotiations from succeeding: Every time the Palestinians say “no” to an offer, the international community demands a better deal on their behalf. No wonder no resolution has been reached. Only last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas insisted that new negotiations “start” with the generous offer made by Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008. Relocating the embassy would demonstrate to the Palestinian Authority that rejectionism has costs.

If Mr. Trump nonetheless signs the waiver, he could do two things to maintain his credibility in the peace process. First, formally recognize Jerusalem—the whole city—as the capital of Israel, and reflect that status in official documents. Second, make clear that unless the Palestinians get serious about peace within six months, his first waiver will be his last. He should set concrete benchmarks for the Palestinians to demonstrate their commitment to negotiations. These would include ending their campaign against Israel in international organizations and cutting off payments to terrorists and their relatives.

This is Mr. Trump’s moment to show strength. It cannot be American policy to choose to recognize a capital, or not, based on how terrorists will react—especially when they likely won’t.

Mr. Kontorovich is a department head at the Kohelet Policy Forum and a law professor at Northwestern University.
118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Leaving the SJW cult on: May 15, 2017, 12:13:36 PM
https://medium.com/@KeriSmith/on-leaving-the-sjw-cult-and-finding-myself-1a6769b2f1ff
119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Leaving the SJW cult on: May 15, 2017, 12:12:39 PM
https://medium.com/@KeriSmith/on-leaving-the-sjw-cult-and-finding-myself-1a6769b2f1ff
120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / DNC: Rules? We don't need no stinkin' rules! on: May 15, 2017, 12:11:47 PM
second post of day

https://apple.news/AOkUtFgN7QIqOh3qeL5fmMg
121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chelsea Manning to remain active duty on: May 15, 2017, 12:02:42 PM
http://americanmilitarynews.com/2017/05/chelsea-manning-to-remain-active-duty-receive-health-care-after-prison-release/?utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=alt&utm_source=amn
122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / SCOTUS rejects appeal of 4th circuit NC case on: May 15, 2017, 10:42:34 AM
http://thehill.com/homenews/333401-supreme-court-refuses-to-review-north-carolina-voter-id-law-report?rnd=1494856615
123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Osho: Positive thinking is BS on: May 15, 2017, 08:57:47 AM
http://thepowerofideas.ideapod.com/zen-master-explains-positive-thinking-terrible-advice/
124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / VDH: The Big Lie of the Trump campaign-Russian collusion theory on: May 15, 2017, 08:03:16 AM
30 minute video

http://dailycaller.com/2017/05/13/scholar-unravels-the-big-lie-surrounding-the-tump-campaign-and-russian-collusion-video/

Scholar Victor Davis Hanson says there’s a “big lie” surrounding the “boogeyman of Russian collusion” that Democrats and the media rally around, according to an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Hanson’s analysis begins by reminding us of the recent massive Democratic losses, which he places at the feet of President Barack Obama’s policies and identity politics gone awry. “The blue wall crumbled,” he says, turning working people against the Democrats in droves. The party then scrambled for any alternative to explain the electoral defeats.

He mentions the financial entanglements with President Vladimir Putin’s Russia by Former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton that betray the sudden growing Russiaphobia of most Democrats.
 

When “the big lie” of Russian collusion is repeated by influential Democrats, doubt is cast and suspicions are raised against President Donald Trump, even without actual evidence. Then, Trump’s approval ratings are expected to fall, ensuring greater erosion of Republican support for the president’s agenda — an agenda that threatens the progressive project that was designed to ensure continued Democratic dominance.

Hanson predicts there will be new surprising evidence of Obama malfeasance against Trump over the next six months.

The scholar then discusses the causes and ramifications of the “Trump Derangement Syndrome” unfolding politically and culturally. He gives Trump high marks for using his unpredictability to restore vital deterrence on the world stage.

Yet, for many Republican elites, he says, they focus on Trump’s appearance — his Queen’s accent, and his gaudiness. A class-driven hostility to this president is revealed, Hanson says, when he hears such charges as, “he hangs out with wrestling people; he likes Mike Tyson; he’s just uncouth.”

In a “weird way” the polarization Obama’s identity politics brought to America will largely evaporate if Trump is able to bring about economic growth, which will unify us again, Hanson says.

As for Democratic leaders, he calls them simply “geriatric.”  He sees the younger ones as “unhinged and in search of an identity.” Rather than find policies to bring working class voters back to the Democratic Party, Hanson predicts they will rally around race, class, and gender, as well as climate change and other fads thought up by Hollywood and radical elites.

This compelling video features Hanson discussing the intolerance and infantilization on display on American campuses, as well as tips for ordinary Americans living with growing intolerance and incivility.

125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / $48 LA-SF on: May 14, 2017, 08:59:54 PM
http://www.autoblog.com/2016/05/09/sleepbus-la-sf-overnight-official/
126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Energy issues, energy technology on: May 14, 2017, 08:34:25 PM
Really looking forward to reading these after I get somewhat caught up from my trip!
127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More indications Intel Assessment of Russian Interference was rigged on: May 14, 2017, 01:38:28 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/05/12/more-indications-intel-assessment-russian-interference-in-election-was-rigged.html
128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iran refining nuke delivery, flagrant violation on: May 14, 2017, 01:32:52 PM
http://freebeacon.com/national-security/intel-report-iran-refining-nuke-delivery-system-flagrant-violation-ban/
129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Comey-Hillary Duet on: May 14, 2017, 12:50:04 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIARMMtUdZQ
130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Comey-Hillary Duet on: May 14, 2017, 12:49:34 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIARMMtUdZQ
131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media, Ministry of Truth Issues on: May 14, 2017, 10:23:30 AM
Good interview last night by Trump on Judge Janine (whom I can't stand)
132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 14, 2017, 10:21:35 AM
What is the IHS?
133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Brookings 8/2015: The more things change, the more they stay the same: Jordania on: May 14, 2017, 10:15:26 AM
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Jordan_Patel-FINALE.pdf

134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tribes at center of effort to free Jordanian pilot on: May 14, 2017, 10:12:16 AM
From two years ago

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/01/world/middleeast/tribes-at-center-of-effort-to-free-jordanian-pilot.html?_r=0
135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jordan: on: May 14, 2017, 09:46:24 AM
With the impending collapse of DAESH (I'm preferring DAESH over ISIS now) and its metastasizing throughout the region, particularly eastern Jordan the Great Fustercluck of the Middle East enters a new phase.  

Jordan, the Royal Hashemite Kingdom, seems to be a unique Arab country see e.g. http://jordantimes.com/news/local/muslim-youth-take-initiative-guard-churches-easter-celebrated led by a unique man, King Abdullah facing unique complexities. Jordan has long and strong ties with the US.  It does not fight Israel and King A. speaks openly of Christians and Muslims getting along.  His wife the Queen, goes uncovered, and speaks of it being a woman's choice.  

I'm opening this thread because I think King Abdullah is in a unique position to explain the Arab world to the West, and the West to the Arab world and it behooves us to develop understanding of Jordan's situation in all this.

I kick it off with this:

http://www.meforum.org/6560/is-jordan-muslim-brotherhood-still-the-loyal?utm_source=Middle+East+Forum&utm_campaign=78729d5f14-K%C3%B6pr%C3%BCl%C3%BC__Nur_2017_05_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_086cfd423c-78729d5f14-33691909&goal=0_086cfd423c-78729d5f14-33691909


Is Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood Still the Loyal Opposition?

by Nur Köprülü
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2017 (view PDF)
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Until the 1990s, the Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood had been a tacit ally of the Hashemite monarchy. That close relationship has deteriorated, triggered in large degree by King Hussein's (R) decision to recognize and make peace with Israel in 1994. He is seen here with Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, the key Islamist movement in the country, has had a long-standing symbiotic relationship with the monarchy and, until recently, was not considered a threat to the survival of the Hashemite Kingdom.[1] But the rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the growth of militant Islamist groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS) have alarmed the monarchy and led to a drastic shift in the nature of its relations with the Brotherhood from coexistence to persecution. Will the Jordanian regime be able to contain the Islamists and, in turn, will the Brotherhood choose to challenge the throne rather than to acquiesce in its continued suppression?
The Brotherhood and the Monarchy

Probably the foremost Islamist movement in the Middle East, the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 in Egypt. From there, it spread to other parts of the region including Jordan (1946) where it was incorporated into the kingdom's social and political fabric with some of its members even serving in cabinet. The group reciprocated by refraining from challenging the regime as had its founding organization in Egypt. Bilateral relations warmed substantially during King Hussein's long reign (1952-99) when the Brotherhood often functioned as a bulwark against anti-Hashemite forces. This was particularly evident during the heyday of pan-Arabism when Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser—who politically opposed the Egyptian Brotherhood—repeatedly sought to subvert the Hashemite monarchy.

The Muslim Brotherhood provided support to the Jordanian monarchy during the 1970 Black September uprising when the regime's existence was threatened by Palestinian guerrillas like these seen here near Amman.

The Brotherhood also provided support to the monarchy during the 1970 Black September events when the regime's existence was threatened by the Palestinian guerrillas encamped on its territory. And although political parties were banned between 1957 and 1992, the Brotherhood was able to function and attract new recruits since it was registered under the law of charitable clubs and associations. With the legalization of political parties in 1992, the organization established its political wing, the Islamic Action Front (IAF).

This close relationship between the Brotherhood and the monarchy prevented secular and leftist parties from challenging the kingdom's policies. The lack of any other previously organized mass party and the weakness of the secular ideological platforms helped the IAF function as the key ideological and political actor in Jordanian politics. This position was reinforced by the Brotherhood's strategic bond with the monarchy, which contributed to its reputation as a moderate, nonviolent group, distinct from its Islamist counterparts throughout the Middle East. In the words of German scholar Gudrun Krämer, Jordan

    provides one of the few cases of an Arab government and Islamic movement pursuing a non-confrontational political strategy over an extended period. Traditionally, the Muslim Brotherhood has played not so much the role of opposition, but of virtual ally and, at times, of client to the king.[2]

This symbiotic relationship prevailed into the 2000s regardless of occasional frictions emanating from domestic and regional vicissitudes. The 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty, for example, triggered a heated debate between the "hawks" opting to confront the regime over the issue and "doves" urging conciliation yet failed to fracture the Brotherhood's overall relationship with the monarchy.[3] Likewise, the organization remained aloof vis-à-vis the post-9/11 measures taken by King Abdullah II—who had succeeded his father two years earlier—against the kingdom's militant Salafist movement urging the overthrew of the "infidel" monarchy. Unlike the Salafists, the Jordanian Brotherhood and its political arm, the IAF, have never had an overtly militant wing despite its organic link with and support for Hamas, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood branch.

This restraint notwithstanding, relations began to sour following the November 2005 hotel bombings in the Jordanian capital of Amman, which left sixty people dead and 115 wounded. Organized by Abu Musab Zarqawi, a native Jordanian from the Salafist stronghold of Zarqa and leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) from which the Islamic State would spring, the bombings provoked a storm of anti-Salafism on the streets of Amman but could not hide the fact that increasing numbers of Jordanians had some jihadist sympathies. Though the Brotherhood had nothing to do with the attack, the Hashemites, always nervous about the stability of their throne, grew ever more suspicious of anything smacking of Islamism.

These concerns increased with the 2006 election of the hawkish Zaki Bani Irshid as the Brotherhood's deputy general-secretary and Hammam Said as the IAF's new leader, signaling to King Abdullah II an unwelcome shift. The king looked across the Jordan to see Hamas win the Palestinian parliamentary elections and taking full control of the Gaza Strip and did not like what he saw. This was especially troubling as there was a growing apprehension that the broader Muslim Brotherhood now "look[ed] to Jordan as an avenue for expanding its regional influence."[4]

In the next round of Jordanian elections in 2007, the Brotherhood's influence diminished further with the IAF capturing only six seats out of 110 in the lower chamber. The poor result was also linked to deepening divisions within the Brotherhood between hawks and doves, leading to the IAF's decision three years later to boycott the parliamentary elections and to adopt a more confrontational
approach toward the regime, thus further widening the rift between the Brotherhood and the monarchy.
Jordanian Identity and the Brotherhood

When considering Jordanian identity it is important to keep in mind the role of Islam and religion in the state/nation-building project that is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. What sets its case apart from that of most modern Middle Eastern states is that Islam was in a very real sense the main source of regime legitimacy in Jordan:

    The king's claim to religious legitimacy [has traditionally been] based on his descent from the Prophet, distinguishing his rule from that of Tunisian and Egyptian counterparts ... Jordan offers a more complex set-up, in which Islamic activism and communal loyalties [referring to the Palestinians in particular] are to a certain extent connected or interrelated.[5]

The monarchy's distinguished origin also enabled it to use Islam as an integral part of its foreign policy, notably its demand for managing the al-Haram al-Sharif holy site (and by extension—to rule East Jerusalem and the West Bank). Consequently, not only did the Brotherhood pose no existential threat to the Hashemite throne, but the regime has actually used the organization as a crutch at critical moments.

But Jordanian society also consists of two main ethnic groups: the indigenous East Bank (Transjordanian) Bedouin tribesmen and the Palestinian-Jordanians, incorporated into the kingdom in the aftermath of the 1948 war, who came to form the majority of the kingdom's population and its economic bedrock.

Notwithstanding their importance for securing the demographic and economic viability of the nascent Hashemite kingdom, Palestinian-Jordanians have been systematically marginalized and discriminated against, with their Bedouin compatriots constituting the mainstay of the regime and controlling the kingdom's political institutions and security organs.[6] Tensions between the two communities intensified after the 1967 war as the kingdom was flooded by fresh waves of West Bank Palestinian refugees, shooting to new heights in the wake of the 1970 Black September events when Jordanians of Palestinian descent came to be increasingly perceived as a potential threat to the survival of the monarchy. Relations worsened with the signing of the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty in 1994, a weakening which, simply put, represents more of a Palestinian sentiment than an East Banker Transjordanian one.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been increasingly reliant on the votes of Palestinian-Jordanians.

However, a closer look at the composition of the Jordanian Brotherhood demonstrates that both the Brotherhood and the IAF were increasingly reliant on the votes of Palestinian-Jordanians. Thus, for instance, while in the 1989 elections, 16 of the Brotherhood's 22 deputies were elected from districts with a Transjordanian majority, in the 2003 elections, only 5 of its 17 deputies came from such districts.[7] Indeed, the prevailing tension between the old and new Brotherhood is largely an offshoot of the internal split over the movement's "priorities and identities," namely perceived Palestinian needs versus those of the Hashemite-allied Transjordanians.[8]

The recent public anger at the lack of sufficient political reform has exacerbated domestic instability in Jordan over the past few years. But a new twist came to light with the appearance of opposition from the East Bank-based, largely tribal Hirak movement, which led street protests in Jordan. This may represent the most immediate challenge to the kingdom, considering that it was coordinated through East Bankers whose loyalty was long considered set in stone. Palestinians and even radical Islamists, by contrast, represent more of a potential threat than a present one. On one hand, it was East Bank activism that gave rise to a strong opposition during the heyday of the Arab uprisings, as it previously was during the 1989 and 2002 riots in Jordan; on the other, it is the radical/jihadi Islamist groups that pose a real threat to the survival of the monarchy. In this regard, the alienation or weakening of the Muslim Brotherhood—with its long history of "loyal opposition" in the kingdom[9]—and other moderate Islamist groups might have detrimental effects on the monarchy given the rise in radical Islamist activism across Jordan's borders.
The Arab Upheavals

The upheavals that have engulfed the Middle East from late 2010 found resonance in Jordan although public protests were never allowed to disrupt the country's functioning. In January 2011, thousands of Jordanians followed the example of protesters in Tunisia and Egypt and staged massive demonstrations in Amman, protesting high prices for staples, soaring unemployment, perceived government corruption, and a general lack of democracy. With the crowds directing much of their anger against Prime Minister Samir Rifai rather than King Abdullah, the crown was able to placate the protesters somewhat, first by announcing subsidies for basic goods and then by dismissing Rifai.[10]

Following the Arab upheavals, the Brotherhood never came close to demanding a complete regime change.

Despite their late participation in public rallies, the Brotherhood's demands for political change were relatively moderate. They insisted on structural changes to the constitution, including constraining the monarchy's power, removing the king's ability to dissolve parliament, and preventing him from appointing a prime minister without parliamentary consent.[11]

Yet they refrained from going beyond previous acts of protest such as boycotting the parliamentary elections of 1997, 2010, and 2013 to test the boundaries of the regime's tolerance; neither did they ever come close to demanding a complete regime change as in other regional hotspots at the time.[12]

Ballot sorting during the 2016 Jordanian elections. Tensions with the Hashemite monarchy came to a head when the Muslim Brotherhood and its political wing boycotted the 2013 parliamentary elections. They also boycotted elections in 1997 and 2010 but agreed to participate in September 2016.

However, the growing splits within the Brotherhood, as well as the regime's changing perception of the movement, fostered an attitude of mutual suspicion that gradually replaced the longstanding non-confrontational relations between the group and the monarchy.[13]

Tensions came to a head when the Brotherhood and the IAF decided to boycott the January 2013 parliamentary elections, the first after the outbreak of the Arab uprisings. The groups' subsequent withdrawal from the National Dialogue Committee, set up for political reform after public rallies, furthered the strains.[14]

Then came the rise and fall of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood government under President Muhammad Morsi and the movement's subsequent labeling as a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia in December 2013 and the United Arab Emirates in November 2014. When the Brotherhood's Bani Irshid attacked the Emirates' decision in a Facebook post, he was excoriated for "endanger[ing] 225,000 Jordanians living in the Emirates" and peremptorily put on trial in February 2015 under the anti-terrorism law for "disrupting relations with a foreign state."[15]

In February 2016, the Jordanian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood an illegal organization and licensed a new Brotherhood under the leadership of Abdul Majid Thunaibat (2nd from left).

A year later, in February 2016, the Jordanian government declared the Brotherhood an illegal organization and licensed a new Brotherhood under the leadership of Abdul Majid Thunaibat, a senior movement member of Trans-Jordanian origin (i.e., non-Palestinian). The following month the IAF's Aqaba office was ransacked, and, in April, the Brotherhood's offices in Amman and Jerash were closed, followed by those in the towns of Madaba, Karak, and Mafraq. The closures were linked to the implementation of a court decision "to transfer properties of the 'unlicensed' Muslim Brotherhood to the rival splinter group."[16]

The formation of the "new" Brotherhood, which attempted to re-register as the real Brotherhood and disassociate itself from its Egyptian parent organization, led to a questioning of the movement's status in the kingdom with the old Brotherhood insisting on its right to continue to operate and Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour disputing this right, arguing that the "Brotherhood in Jordan is illegal. It does not have a license of community statute and missed the right of legitimacy."[17] Clearly, the nature of the longstanding relationship between the throne and the Brotherhood had been transformed.
The Syrian Civil War and Jordan

With the onset of the Arab uprisings, the kingdom found itself in a delicate situation coping not only with growing internal opposition but also fighting the ascendancy of Islamist militancy and the escalation of radical jihadist movements such as ISIS and Jabhat an-Nusra on the other side of its borders with Syria and Iraq.

Among the effects of the Syrian civil war on Jordan, the foremost challenge has been the mass influx of Syrian refugees and their integration into Jordanian society. The presence of refugees has exacerbated the kingdom's existing economic problems. The thousands of Jordanians who attended public rallies in the wake of the Arab upheavals were not only complaining about lack of progress in democratic reform but were protesting a worsening economic environment that had accompanied the influx of Syrian refugees.

The war in Syria has increased internal instabilities and doubled the challenges the kingdom faces at the regional level.

Moreover, deepening political divisions within the country have been reflected in popular and vocal disagreement regarding the future of Syria. While Jordanian Salafi jihadists support the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad, nationalists and leftists want the kingdom to refrain from any involvement in Syrian internal affairs. Still, others favor a peaceful transition that sees the gradual removal of the Assad regime. In such a divided society, the kingdom must pursue a cautious course of action, one that reduces the likelihood of military intervention.[18]

In addition, Jordan has been frustrated by Islamist activism and the rising influence of Salafists, including some who fought in Syria. According to Muhammad Shalabi (Abu Sayyaf), a prominent Jordanian jihadist, between 700-800 Jordanians have joined the fighting in Syria, many of whom had fought previously in Afghanistan and Iraq.[19] By most estimates, Jordanian Salafists number around five thousand[20] though some believe the actual number to be as high as 15,000. Thus, the war in Syria has not only increased internal instabilities but has doubled the challenges the kingdom faces at the regional level as well.
Conclusion

The Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood has historically been considered a "loyal opposition" that can play a useful role within the kingdom's political system even when its relations with the regime soured following the conclusion of the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty. But the Arab upheavals, especially the Syrian civil war, have forced the regime to strike a delicate balancing act between the need to clamp down on the rising tide of Islamist militancy and the desire to preserve the continued acquiescence of the more moderate Islamist elements in the rules and values of the political system.

Thus far the kingdom has managed to co-opt radical Islamist groups, including the Salafists, thanks to its relationship with the Brotherhood and its divide-and-conquer policies. It is, therefore, likely to do all that it can to keep the organization in its fold and to refrain from declaring it a terrorist group despite pressures from its Persian Gulf allies to do so. The IAF's decision to participate in the September 2016 elections and its reported severance of relations with the Egyptian Brotherhood suggest that they, too, seem to recognize the need to continue to operate within the confines of the Jordanian political system.[21]

    Nur Köprülü received her PhD degree at the Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, in the field of international relations with a focus on Jordan, and heads the Department of Political Science at the Near East University, Nicosia.

[1] Jillian Schwedler, "The Quiescent Opposition," The Wilson Center, Washington, D.C., Aug. 27, 2015.

[2] Gudrun Krämer, "The Integration of the Integrists: A Comparative Study of Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia," in Democracy without Democrats? The Renewal of Politics in the Muslim World, ed. Ghassan Salamé (London: I.B. Tauris, 1994), p. 219; see, also, Curtis C. Ryan, "Islamist Political Activism in Jordan: Moderation, Militancy, and Democracy," Scholars for Peace in the Middle East Reports, June 2008, p. 3.

[3] Author interview with Zaki Bani Irshid, Jordanian Brotherhood's deputy general-secretary, IAF Headquarters, Amman, Nov. 9, 2010; author interview with Orab Rantawi, director of the Amman-based al-Quds Center for Political Studies, Amman, Nov. 8, 2010.

[4] Robert Satloff and David Schenker, "Political Instability in Jordan: Contingency Planning Memorandum No. 19," Council on Foreign Relations, New York, May 2013, §6.

[5] Krämer, "The Integration of the Integrists," p. 219.

[6] Mudar Zahran, "Jordan Is Palestine," Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2012, pp. 3-12.

[7] David Siddharta Patel, "The more things change, the more they stay the same: Jordanian Islamist responses in spring and fall," Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, Rethinking Political Islam Series, Brookings Institute, Washington, D.C., Aug. 2015, p. 6.

[8] Al-Monitor (Washington, D.C.), May 12, 2015; David Schenker, "Amman's Showdown with the Muslim Brotherhood." The Washington Institute, Washington, D.C., Apr. 6, 2016.

[9] Shmuel Bar, The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan (Tel Aviv: The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, 1998), p. 19.

[10] The New York Times, Feb. 1, 2011.

[11] Tareq al-Naimat, "The Jordanian Regime and the Muslim Brotherhood: A Tug of War," Viewpoints, July 2014.

[12] Ibid; Patel, "The more things change," p. 3.

[13] Hasan Abu Haniyeh, "Jordan's strategy to fragment the Muslim Brotherhood," Middle East Eye (London), Apr. 19, 2016.

[14] Naimat, "The Jordanian Regime."

[15] Al-Monitor, Feb. 2, 2015.

[16] The Jordan Times (Amman), Apr. 14, 2016.

[17] TRT Haber TV (Istanbul), July 6, 2015; al-Monitor, Mar. 3, 2015, May 12, 2015.

[18] Khaled Waleed Mahmoud, "Where Does Jordan Stand on the Syrian Crisis?" Middle East Monitor, Sept. 16, 2013.

[19] Mona Alami, "Jordanian jihadists are on the rise," The Daily Star (Beirut), Mar. 4, 2014.

[20] The Jerusalem Post, Oct. 21, 2012; Al-Monitor, Apr. 23, 2013.

[21] The Jordan Times, June 11, 2016.



136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Russian support of Marine Le Pen on: May 14, 2017, 08:43:12 AM
There is also the matter of the Russians opening lending her campaign millions of dollars.  Surely this should be a very big deal?  Surely this should have bothered her many well-wishers here in the US due to her immigration/defense of French culture stance?  But it did not , , ,
137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon on: May 14, 2017, 08:37:23 AM
Welcome Michael, delighted to have you here.  Just back from that trip I mentioned to you.  If you like please give me a call at 310-543-7521.
138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: May 14, 2017, 08:36:34 AM
Really too bad that the source here is Breitbart which has a well earned reputation for irresponsible and deceptive reporting-- while sometimes getting things right that others do not.  As I have requested previously, let us please go to the primary sources sometimes cited by a Breitbart piece and see if they actually say what B. is citing them for and if so, then use them as the citation instead of B.
139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the Republicans on: May 14, 2017, 12:58:50 AM
Please feel free to post that in the Tax thread here and the Economics thread on the SC&H forum too.
140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Prager: Communism and Nazism on: May 14, 2017, 12:57:08 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUGkKKAogDs&feature=share
141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: May 14, 2017, 12:54:49 AM
My thought exactly!
142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant/Self Intro on: May 14, 2017, 12:51:59 AM
Back home after two weeks on the road.

Things sure have been lively in my absence!!!
143  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Se disputa la plaza en Zacatecas on: May 14, 2017, 12:50:30 AM
https://www.elsoldezacatecas.com.mx/zacatecas/en-zacatecas-tres-nuevos-carteles-se-disputan-la-plaza
144  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / South African construction workers stop carjacking on: May 13, 2017, 01:47:00 PM
http://lekkerblog.co.za/construction-workers-throw-bricks-at-hijackers-to-help-home-owner-escape/
145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Janet Napolitano on: April 29, 2017, 01:43:48 AM
http://thefederalistpapers.org/us/uc-president-janet-napolitano-caught-with-her-hands-in-the-cookie-jar
146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Antifa unmasked on: April 29, 2017, 01:37:11 AM
https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/antifa-thugs-unmasked-in-alabama
147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH Palace gossip on the first 100 days on: April 28, 2017, 09:21:32 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/28/us/politics/trump-white-house-first-100-days-new-york-times-reporters.html?emc=edit_ta_20170428&nl=top-stories&nlid=49641193&ref=cta

148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Kissinger on Adenauer on: April 28, 2017, 09:17:02 PM
The Man Who Saved Europe the Last Time
Konrad Adenauer restored democracy to Germany and helped unify a devastated Continent.
Konrad Adenauer (second from left), Sept. 21, 1949, with the high commissioners of the occupation (left to right), America’s John J. McCloy, Britain’s Sir Brian Robertson and France’s André François-Poncet.
Konrad Adenauer (second from left), Sept. 21, 1949, with the high commissioners of the occupation (left to right), America’s John J. McCloy, Britain’s Sir Brian Robertson and France’s André François-Poncet. Photo: Bettmann Archive
By Henry A. Kissinger
April 28, 2017 6:10 p.m. ET
6 COMMENTS

The attribute of greatness is reserved for leaders from whose time onward history can be told only in terms of their achievements. I observed essential elements of Germany’s history—as a native son, as a refugee from its upheavals, as a soldier in the American army of occupation, and as a witness to its astonishing renewal.

Only a few who experienced this evolution remain. For many contemporary Germans, the Adenauer period seems like a tale from an era long transcended. To the contrary, they live in a dynamic established by Konrad Adenauer, a man whose lifespan, from 1876 to 1967, covered all but five years of the unified German national state first proclaimed in 1871.

Devastated, impoverished, partitioned, the Federal Republic came about after World War II by the merger of the American, British and French zones of occupation, containing just two-thirds of Germany’s prewar population. Five million refugees from Germany’s prewar territories needed integration; they agitated for the recovery of lost territories. The Soviet occupation zone, containing 18 million people, was turned into a communist political entity.

The Federal Republic’s advent capped a century of discontinuity. The Empire after Bismarck had felt beleaguered by the alliances surrounding it; the Weimar Republic after World War I had felt abused by an imposed peace settlement; Hitler had sought an atavistic world dominion; the Federal Republic arose amid a legacy of global resentment.

The newly elected German Parliament chose Adenauer as chancellor by a margin of just one vote on Sept. 15, 1949. Shortly afterward, on Nov. 22, 1949, he signed the Petersberg Agreement with the three Allied high commissioners, conferring the attributes of sovereignty on the Federal Republic but withholding its premise of juridical equality. The center of its mining activity, the Ruhr, remained under special Allied control, as did the industrial Saar region along the French border. Adenauer’s acquiescence to these terms earned him the sobriquet from his opposition “Chancellor of the Allies.”

In his first formal encounter with the three high commissioners, on Sept. 21, 1949, Adenauer demonstrated that he would accept discrimination but not subordination. The high commissioners had assembled on a carpet; to its side, a place for Adenauer had been designated. The chancellor challenged protocol by stepping directly onto the carpet facing his hosts.

From this posture, Adenauer heralded a historic turning point. The new Federal Republic would seek, in his words, “full freedom” by earning a place in the community of nations, not by pressure or by seizing it. Calling for an entirely new conception of foreign policy, Adenauer proclaimed the goal of “a positive and viable European federation” to overcome “the narrow nationalistic conception of the states as it prevailed in the 19th and 20th century . . . in order to restore the unity of European life in all fields of endeavor.”

Adenauer’s conduct reinforced his rejection of European history. Tall, erect, imperturbable, his face immobile from an automobile accident in his youth, he exuded the serenity of the pre-World War I world that had formed him. Equally distinctive was his sparse speaking style. It conveyed that unobtrusiveness and performance, not exhortation or imposition, were to be the operating style for the new Germany.

Winston Churchill had made a comparable proposal for Europe two days before in Zurich, but Churchill was not in office then. Governing amid defeat and division, Adenauer had proposed an indefinite (possibly permanent) partition of his country while integrating it into a nascent European structure. The country whose nationalism had precipitated two world wars would henceforth rely on partnership with its erstwhile enemies.

The turn westward proved fundamental. The choice of Bonn as the new capital, located in the westernmost part of Germany, with close links to Western Europe, was symbolic. Adenauer convinced the Parliament to select Bonn because, as he said sardonically, he wanted the capital to be in the wine region, not amid potato fields, and not least because his home village of Rhöndorf (population of about 1,000) was not suitable for a capital.

It required all of Adenauer’s personality and stature to implement these visions. Opposition came largely from the Social Democratic Party, which, while pro-democracy, insisted on a national policy of neutrality. The opposition included vestiges of German conservatives, one of whose spokesmen was Heinrich Brüning, the chancellor whose overthrow in 1932 had opened the way for Hitler.

Adenauer proved adamant. He made democratic regeneration his first priority as the precondition to integration into Europe. A renewed reputation for reliability was essential. Maneuvering between the superpowers would destroy confidence and repeat historical tragedies.

Adenauer’s foreign policy was founded on the moral imperative of democracy. He envisaged a relentless progression toward the twin goals of a security partnership with America and political integration with Europe.

The Petersberg Agreement of 1949 was followed by negotiations over European defense, spurred by the Korean War and the Soviet military buildup in Central Europe. As NATO was forming, Adenauer urged the European nations to pool their efforts into the European Defense Community. After the French Assembly rejected this concept, Adenauer in 1954 agreed to the Paris Accords, which ended West Germany’s occupation, affirmed its sovereignty, and opened the way to its national membership in NATO. The culmination was Adenauer’s 1955 visit to Washington. When the German national anthem was played as he visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Adenauer described it as the most moving moment of his life.

European integration followed a comparable, in retrospect inevitable, sequence. From France and Germany’s 1951 agreement to establish the Coal and Steel Community to the Treaty of Rome in 1957, which established the European Economic Community, Adenauer, working with wise French leaders, overcame one of world history’s once-hereditary national animosities.

Within the space of six years, Adenauer had moved his country from an outcast to an equal member in political and security arrangements unprecedented in European history. This was made possible by a spirit of American creativity which, in the Marshall Plan and the origination of NATO, overcame America’s pre-World War II isolationism.

The U.S. became Germany’s principal link to security through NATO, and to economic recovery through the Marshall Plan. France, as the link to the European Community, played a comparable role. In America, John Foster Dulles symbolized the relationship; in France, President Charles de Gaulle. They both represented to Adenauer elements capable of stabilizing the inevitable storms the future might hold. In that sense, Adenauer viewed Europe as a potential corrective to the fluctuations into which global responsibilities and a certain inherent restlessness on occasion drew the U.S. When, in 1956, Guy Mollet, France’s prime minister, stressed a gap between the obligations of NATO and American conduct in the Suez Crisis, Adenauer defended the existing structures as flexible enough to recover shared vitality: “Europe will be your revenge,” he said.

I had the privilege of hearing Adenauer’s vision in several conversations with him over a 10-year period. His courtesy and serenity were his most memorable traits. Our first meeting took place in 1957, shortly after a Soviet ultimatum threatening Berlin. Adenauer concentrated on the nightmare of everyone privy to nuclear planning: whether any U.S. president would actually bring himself to unleash the catastrophe on which NATO nuclear strategy was based. Since the official answer was formal but the actual one would depend on unknowable contingencies and personalities, he raised the question at every subsequent meeting.

Another major issue preoccupying Adenauer was geopolitical evolution. Did I realize that a break between China and Russia was imminent? The West should prepare for that contingency and not provide too many temptations to its adversaries by its divisions. He construed surprised silence as assent and, on his first visit to the White House in 1961, repeated the prediction, adding, to an astonished President Kennedy: “Professor Kissinger agrees with me.”

In 1962, as part-time consultant to President Kennedy, I was asked during a crisis to reassure Adenauer about America’s determination and capacity to defend Berlin and support Germany. I had been briefed to present details of some nuclear capabilities and deployments on a personal, presidential basis—information which, at that time, was shared with only the U.K.

As I began my presentation of the political issues, Adenauer interrupted: “They have already told me this in Washington. If it did not convince me there, why would it convince me here?” I replied that I was an academic, and a government employee only a quarter of my time. Adenauer was nonplussed. In that case, he replied: Let us assume you will convince me three-quarters of the way.

But when I presented the military briefing, Adenauer was transformed—partly because of the enormous gap in the West’s favor that it demonstrated, but above all because of the confidence President Kennedy had shown in him. It turned into the warmest of all my meetings with him.

A moving aftermath followed some decades later. I received a letter whose sender I did not recognize. He had served as an interpreter during that conversation (though German is my native language, I generally conduct official conversations in English because my vocabulary is more precise, especially on technical matters). Adenauer had given me his word of honor not to distribute the nuclear information I had shared with him. The interpreter informed me that he had, in fact, given a full record of my briefing to Adenauer, who had instructed him to destroy the nuclear portion out of respect for his word of honor.

The historic German-American partnership that began with the Adenauer chancellorship proceeded from almost diametrically opposed starting points. Adenauer assumed office at probably the lowest point of German history. The U.S. was at the zenith of its power and self-confidence. Adenauer saw his task as rebuilding Christian and democratic values through new designs for traditional German and European institutions. America had equally grand objectives and, at times, pursued them with insistent certainty. For Adenauer, the reconstruction of Europe was the rediscovery of ancient values; for America, the implementation of prevailing ones. For Adenauer to succeed, it was necessary to stabilize the soul of Germany; for America, to mobilize existing idealism. Occasionally there were strains, especially when American optimism overestimated the scope for more-fragile structures and divergent historic memories.

The Atlantic relationship between Bonn and Washington transformed, however, the shattered world it inherited and helped create a half-century of peace between major powers.

This system is now under stress from simultaneous upheavals on several continents. Can it heal a fractured world by rediscovering the conviction and creativity with which it was built?

Mr. Kissinger served as national security adviser and secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford. This is adapted from an April 25 speech to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

Appeared in the Apr. 29, 2017, print edition.
149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Kissinger on Adenauer on: April 28, 2017, 09:16:19 PM
The Man Who Saved Europe the Last Time
Konrad Adenauer restored democracy to Germany and helped unify a devastated Continent.
Konrad Adenauer (second from left), Sept. 21, 1949, with the high commissioners of the occupation (left to right), America’s John J. McCloy, Britain’s Sir Brian Robertson and France’s André François-Poncet.
Konrad Adenauer (second from left), Sept. 21, 1949, with the high commissioners of the occupation (left to right), America’s John J. McCloy, Britain’s Sir Brian Robertson and France’s André François-Poncet. Photo: Bettmann Archive
By Henry A. Kissinger
April 28, 2017 6:10 p.m. ET
6 COMMENTS

The attribute of greatness is reserved for leaders from whose time onward history can be told only in terms of their achievements. I observed essential elements of Germany’s history—as a native son, as a refugee from its upheavals, as a soldier in the American army of occupation, and as a witness to its astonishing renewal.

Only a few who experienced this evolution remain. For many contemporary Germans, the Adenauer period seems like a tale from an era long transcended. To the contrary, they live in a dynamic established by Konrad Adenauer, a man whose lifespan, from 1876 to 1967, covered all but five years of the unified German national state first proclaimed in 1871.

Devastated, impoverished, partitioned, the Federal Republic came about after World War II by the merger of the American, British and French zones of occupation, containing just two-thirds of Germany’s prewar population. Five million refugees from Germany’s prewar territories needed integration; they agitated for the recovery of lost territories. The Soviet occupation zone, containing 18 million people, was turned into a communist political entity.

The Federal Republic’s advent capped a century of discontinuity. The Empire after Bismarck had felt beleaguered by the alliances surrounding it; the Weimar Republic after World War I had felt abused by an imposed peace settlement; Hitler had sought an atavistic world dominion; the Federal Republic arose amid a legacy of global resentment.

The newly elected German Parliament chose Adenauer as chancellor by a margin of just one vote on Sept. 15, 1949. Shortly afterward, on Nov. 22, 1949, he signed the Petersberg Agreement with the three Allied high commissioners, conferring the attributes of sovereignty on the Federal Republic but withholding its premise of juridical equality. The center of its mining activity, the Ruhr, remained under special Allied control, as did the industrial Saar region along the French border. Adenauer’s acquiescence to these terms earned him the sobriquet from his opposition “Chancellor of the Allies.”

In his first formal encounter with the three high commissioners, on Sept. 21, 1949, Adenauer demonstrated that he would accept discrimination but not subordination. The high commissioners had assembled on a carpet; to its side, a place for Adenauer had been designated. The chancellor challenged protocol by stepping directly onto the carpet facing his hosts.

From this posture, Adenauer heralded a historic turning point. The new Federal Republic would seek, in his words, “full freedom” by earning a place in the community of nations, not by pressure or by seizing it. Calling for an entirely new conception of foreign policy, Adenauer proclaimed the goal of “a positive and viable European federation” to overcome “the narrow nationalistic conception of the states as it prevailed in the 19th and 20th century . . . in order to restore the unity of European life in all fields of endeavor.”

Adenauer’s conduct reinforced his rejection of European history. Tall, erect, imperturbable, his face immobile from an automobile accident in his youth, he exuded the serenity of the pre-World War I world that had formed him. Equally distinctive was his sparse speaking style. It conveyed that unobtrusiveness and performance, not exhortation or imposition, were to be the operating style for the new Germany.

Winston Churchill had made a comparable proposal for Europe two days before in Zurich, but Churchill was not in office then. Governing amid defeat and division, Adenauer had proposed an indefinite (possibly permanent) partition of his country while integrating it into a nascent European structure. The country whose nationalism had precipitated two world wars would henceforth rely on partnership with its erstwhile enemies.

The turn westward proved fundamental. The choice of Bonn as the new capital, located in the westernmost part of Germany, with close links to Western Europe, was symbolic. Adenauer convinced the Parliament to select Bonn because, as he said sardonically, he wanted the capital to be in the wine region, not amid potato fields, and not least because his home village of Rhöndorf (population of about 1,000) was not suitable for a capital.

It required all of Adenauer’s personality and stature to implement these visions. Opposition came largely from the Social Democratic Party, which, while pro-democracy, insisted on a national policy of neutrality. The opposition included vestiges of German conservatives, one of whose spokesmen was Heinrich Brüning, the chancellor whose overthrow in 1932 had opened the way for Hitler.

Adenauer proved adamant. He made democratic regeneration his first priority as the precondition to integration into Europe. A renewed reputation for reliability was essential. Maneuvering between the superpowers would destroy confidence and repeat historical tragedies.

Adenauer’s foreign policy was founded on the moral imperative of democracy. He envisaged a relentless progression toward the twin goals of a security partnership with America and political integration with Europe.

The Petersberg Agreement of 1949 was followed by negotiations over European defense, spurred by the Korean War and the Soviet military buildup in Central Europe. As NATO was forming, Adenauer urged the European nations to pool their efforts into the European Defense Community. After the French Assembly rejected this concept, Adenauer in 1954 agreed to the Paris Accords, which ended West Germany’s occupation, affirmed its sovereignty, and opened the way to its national membership in NATO. The culmination was Adenauer’s 1955 visit to Washington. When the German national anthem was played as he visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Adenauer described it as the most moving moment of his life.

European integration followed a comparable, in retrospect inevitable, sequence. From France and Germany’s 1951 agreement to establish the Coal and Steel Community to the Treaty of Rome in 1957, which established the European Economic Community, Adenauer, working with wise French leaders, overcame one of world history’s once-hereditary national animosities.

Within the space of six years, Adenauer had moved his country from an outcast to an equal member in political and security arrangements unprecedented in European history. This was made possible by a spirit of American creativity which, in the Marshall Plan and the origination of NATO, overcame America’s pre-World War II isolationism.

The U.S. became Germany’s principal link to security through NATO, and to economic recovery through the Marshall Plan. France, as the link to the European Community, played a comparable role. In America, John Foster Dulles symbolized the relationship; in France, President Charles de Gaulle. They both represented to Adenauer elements capable of stabilizing the inevitable storms the future might hold. In that sense, Adenauer viewed Europe as a potential corrective to the fluctuations into which global responsibilities and a certain inherent restlessness on occasion drew the U.S. When, in 1956, Guy Mollet, France’s prime minister, stressed a gap between the obligations of NATO and American conduct in the Suez Crisis, Adenauer defended the existing structures as flexible enough to recover shared vitality: “Europe will be your revenge,” he said.

I had the privilege of hearing Adenauer’s vision in several conversations with him over a 10-year period. His courtesy and serenity were his most memorable traits. Our first meeting took place in 1957, shortly after a Soviet ultimatum threatening Berlin. Adenauer concentrated on the nightmare of everyone privy to nuclear planning: whether any U.S. president would actually bring himself to unleash the catastrophe on which NATO nuclear strategy was based. Since the official answer was formal but the actual one would depend on unknowable contingencies and personalities, he raised the question at every subsequent meeting.

Another major issue preoccupying Adenauer was geopolitical evolution. Did I realize that a break between China and Russia was imminent? The West should prepare for that contingency and not provide too many temptations to its adversaries by its divisions. He construed surprised silence as assent and, on his first visit to the White House in 1961, repeated the prediction, adding, to an astonished President Kennedy: “Professor Kissinger agrees with me.”

In 1962, as part-time consultant to President Kennedy, I was asked during a crisis to reassure Adenauer about America’s determination and capacity to defend Berlin and support Germany. I had been briefed to present details of some nuclear capabilities and deployments on a personal, presidential basis—information which, at that time, was shared with only the U.K.

As I began my presentation of the political issues, Adenauer interrupted: “They have already told me this in Washington. If it did not convince me there, why would it convince me here?” I replied that I was an academic, and a government employee only a quarter of my time. Adenauer was nonplussed. In that case, he replied: Let us assume you will convince me three-quarters of the way.

But when I presented the military briefing, Adenauer was transformed—partly because of the enormous gap in the West’s favor that it demonstrated, but above all because of the confidence President Kennedy had shown in him. It turned into the warmest of all my meetings with him.

A moving aftermath followed some decades later. I received a letter whose sender I did not recognize. He had served as an interpreter during that conversation (though German is my native language, I generally conduct official conversations in English because my vocabulary is more precise, especially on technical matters). Adenauer had given me his word of honor not to distribute the nuclear information I had shared with him. The interpreter informed me that he had, in fact, given a full record of my briefing to Adenauer, who had instructed him to destroy the nuclear portion out of respect for his word of honor.

The historic German-American partnership that began with the Adenauer chancellorship proceeded from almost diametrically opposed starting points. Adenauer assumed office at probably the lowest point of German history. The U.S. was at the zenith of its power and self-confidence. Adenauer saw his task as rebuilding Christian and democratic values through new designs for traditional German and European institutions. America had equally grand objectives and, at times, pursued them with insistent certainty. For Adenauer, the reconstruction of Europe was the rediscovery of ancient values; for America, the implementation of prevailing ones. For Adenauer to succeed, it was necessary to stabilize the soul of Germany; for America, to mobilize existing idealism. Occasionally there were strains, especially when American optimism overestimated the scope for more-fragile structures and divergent historic memories.

The Atlantic relationship between Bonn and Washington transformed, however, the shattered world it inherited and helped create a half-century of peace between major powers.

This system is now under stress from simultaneous upheavals on several continents. Can it heal a fractured world by rediscovering the conviction and creativity with which it was built?

Mr. Kissinger served as national security adviser and secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford. This is adapted from an April 25 speech to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

Appeared in the Apr. 29, 2017, print edition.
150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chelsea debates Ben Shapiro on Twitter on: April 28, 2017, 06:01:12 PM
http://www.dailywire.com/news/15837/chelsea-clinton-tries-debating-ben-shapiro-twitter-hank-berrien?utm_source=shapironewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=042017-news-title&utm_campaign=lead
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